Monday, October 24, 2011

An Open Message to Community Church in West Milton, Ohio

Hello, Community Church! My name is Scott Distler and let me just say, “I love your church!” I really do. No local church in the entire world has meant more to me over my life than yours. Back during the summers of 1985 and 1986 I worked right there at Community Church in West Milton, Ohio as a Summer Intern Youth Pastor. Then, after graduating from college and getting married in May of 1987, my wife, Laura, and I started our lives together in West Milton where I spent the next several years serving on the pastoral staff in a youth and associate role.

To this day those early years of local church ministry at Community Church remain some of the best memories of my life. I remember Youthquake Rallies that saw literally hundreds of students come to Christ. I remember putting out that big chicken in the church yard each summer to officially announce to the community that Bible School was coming (even if it meant me wearing green panty hose…but we won’t talk about that). I remember Friend Days, Sowing Sundays, and Saturday Night Alternatives. In fact, I could literally walk through every room of your church and have a flood of amazing memories race through my mind.

It was at your church that I cut my teeth in ministry. It was at your church that I developed my philosophy of ministry. It was at your church that I found my mentor and my pastor for life – Pastor Steve Peters. It was during our ministry years at Community Church in West Milton, Ohio that both of our kids were born. Amazingly, Joy is now a senior in college studying Education and Jonathan is a sophomore in college studying Worship Arts.

But without question, I remember the most exciting time of the year at Community Church was always Mission’s Conference. I can remember dressing up one year as the Pope when our Sunday School class was assigned the country of Italy. I remember dressing up as a European fisherman from Portugal one year and even as a native from the jungles of New Guinea another year for Missions Conference. Missions Conference was always an awesome week.

Laura and I are looking forward to being back at Community Church for this year’s Missions Conference in November. We are really excited to see and catch-up with old friends. And we are equally as excited to make new friends.

I have been praying that God would use our time together at Missions Conference in amazing ways – literally that He would accomplish abundantly more than anything that we could ever ask or imagine. I believe He’ll do just that.

We are looking forward to being back at Community this November and I hope that each of you will make it a point to be at each service for this year’s Missions Conference!


Anonymous said...

...and we can't wait to have you folks "back home". Missions Conference is like Christmas around here, the atmosphere abuzz with excitement and anticipation. Looking forward to meeting you folks in person, as well as to a message of challenge. Just two more weeks!

Darleen Lockhart

Kathy said...

I can't wait to see you there. You have no idea the impact you made on so many while you were there. We modeled our own youth group and missions team after the things we experienced while being in your youth group. And now our youth are doing the same. Cooking contests are still going on but more importantly teens are learning how to share their faith and getting their feet "wet" in missions work. Thank you for your example.